A brick house in California Gully has been gutted by fire this morning.
A mother and her three young children were inside the house at the time the fire broke out but managed to escape.
"I believe the female occupant was occupied having a shower at the time the fire was first noticed by the family," Bendigo Fire Station senior station officer Stephen Keating said.
"The fire took hold fairly quickly and she was quite lucky."
Smoke was seen billowing from the house around 11.30am with a neighbour telling the Bendigo Advertiser she ran out onto the street after hearing a woman screaming for help.
Six fire trucks attended the blaze that has rendered the house "beyond economically repairable".
"The family was distressed but there were no injuries or anything which was good," Mr Keating said.
It's believed the fire was started by clothing placed too close to a heater.